How to Quickly Pay Off Credit Card Debt

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Last updated on August 24th, 2023

Credit card debt is something millions of Americans deal with regularly. According to the Federal Reserve in New York, Americans owe more than $14.3 trillion in total debt – $4.12 trillion being partly made up of credit card debt. Fortunately, there are quick and efficient ways to repay debts. But what are the cheapest ways to pay off credit card debt?

Quickly Paying Off Credit Card Debt: At a Glance

  • Balance transfer credit cards and debt consolidation loans are the two fastest – and cheapest – ways to pay off credit card debt
  • Balance transfer credit cards offer low introductory APRs for paying down debt
  • Personal debt consolidation loans provide a lower everyday interest rate for paying off debt
  • The Upgrade Card is the best of both worlds – featuring a debt consolidation loan, a low APR, and the purchasing power of Visa

The Cheapest Ways to Pay Off Credit Card Debt – Fast

The two most effective methods of cheaply paying off credit card debt are via balance transfer credit cards and personal, debt consolidation loans.

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Balance transfer credit cards are an excellent option for paying off credit card debt. The balance transfer process is relatively simple:

  • Apply for a balance transfer credit card
  • Submit a balance transfer request with your application, including all relevant bank and credit card information
  • Pay off the existing balance once it’s added to your new credit card

Balance transfer cards usually offer a 0% intro APR period, which makes them ideal for paying off a credit card balance without the added interest charges.

Debt Consolidation Loans

Debt consolidation loans, also known as personal loans, are another quick way to pay off credit card debt. Personal loans come from a variety of lenders, including popular options like Upgrade, Smarter Loans, OppLoans, and Even Financial.

Debt consolidation loans offer several benefits versus balance transfer credit cards:

  • Personal loans provide a lower interest rate than credit cards. The average APR for a balance transfer credit card is approximately 16.99%. Many debt consolidation loans feature interest rates in the 10% range, making them more affordable over the length of the loan terms.
  • Debt consolidation loans streamline the repayment process. Using a personal loan to pay off debt allows users to make one payment each month – instead of several credit card payments.

Debt consolidation loans have some disadvantages, however. The costliest of these concerns is the fact that many lenders charge an upfront closing cost to complete the loan. Closing costs can run into the hundreds – or thousands – of dollars, which may increase the amount an individual must repay.

The Upgrade Card – The Best of Both Worlds

The Upgrade Card is a unique approach to quickly pay off credit card debt. The card is a hybrid – a mix of debt consolidation and personal loan and a balance transfer credit card.

The Upgrade Card works by extending a credit line of up to $20,000. The card is a hybrid product, working both as a Visa credit card and a type of personal loan. Cardholders can use their Upgrade account to transfer their credit line to existing accounts, paying them off to create one balance. In this regard, the Upgrade is akin to a debt consolidation product.

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: Excellent / Good / Fair
Visa Processing Network
None Annual Fee

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®

  • 14.99%-29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Regular Purchase APR
  • 14.99% to 29.99% Balance Transfer APR

At a Glance

The Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® offers no fees, low rates, cash back, and credit lines from $500 to $25,000 in one unique package. The card provides consumers the flexibility and predictability to quickly pay down balances and get debt-free. The Upgrade credit card is one of the lowest regular APR credit cards on the market for those with excellent credit scores, putting it firmly on any list of the best balance transfer credit card deals – or any list of the best credit cards in the U.S.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • $200 bonus after opening a Rewards Checking Plus account and making 3 debit card transactions*
  • Earn 1.5% unlimited cash back on card purchases every time you make a payment
  • Combine the flexibility of a credit card with the predictability of a personal loan
  • No annual fee
  • No touch payments with contactless technology built in
  • See if you qualify in minutes without hurting your credit score
  • Great for large purchases with predictable payments you can budget for
  • Mobile app to access your account anytime, anywhere
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud liability
  • *To qualify for the welcome bonus, you must open and fund a new Rewards Checking account and make 3 qualifying debit card transactions from your Rewards Checking account within 60 days of the date the Upgrade Card account is opened. To qualify, debit card transactions must have settled and exclude ATM transactions. Please refer to the applicable Upgrade VISA® Debit Card Agreement and Disclosures for more information. Your Upgrade Card and Rewards Checking account must be open and in good standing to receive a bonus. If you have previously opened a Rewards Checking account or do not open one as part of this application process, you are not eligible for this welcome bonus offer. Welcome bonus offers cannot be combined, substituted, or applied retroactively. The bonus will be applied to your Rewards Checking account as a one-time payout credit within 60 days after the 3rd qualifying card purchase.
  • Regular Purchase APR: 14.99%-29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 14.99% to 29.99%
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Up to 5%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: Up to 3%
  • You struggle to pay off your credit card balances
  • You want a structured repayment plan
  • You can reliably pay off your statement balances to earn cash back for your purchases
  • You have a desire to get debt-free quickly
  • You hate penalty or other hidden fees

Interest rates with the Upgrade Card start as low as 6.99% and Upgrade offers individual repayment plans, ranging from 12 months to 60 months.  Studies show that this blend of low APR and personalized repayment plans reduce the costs of paying off debts.

This process allows individuals to pay off their credit card debt and save money towards emergency funds at the same time – just by making the minimum payment each month.

Related Article: How Long Does It Take to Repair Your Credit Score?

Editorial Disclosure – The opinions expressed on's reviews, articles, and all other content on or relating to the website are solely those of the content’s author(s). These opinions do not reflect those of any card issuer or financial institution, and editorial content on our site has not been reviewed or approved by these entities unless noted otherwise. Further, lists credit card offers that are frequently updated with information believed to be accurate to the best of our team's knowledge. However, please review the information provided directly by the credit card issuer or related financial institution for full details.

About: Cory Santos
Cory Santos

Cory is the senior credit card editor at BestCards, specializing in everything credit card-related. He’s worked extensively with credit cards and other personal finance topics, including nearly five years at BestCards. Cory’s extensive knowledge is an essential part of the BestCards experience, helping readers to live their best financial lives with up-to-date insights and comprehensive coverage of all facets of the credit card space, including market trends, rewards guides, credit advice, and comprehensive credit card reviews.

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